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Tuesday newspaper round-up: debt ceiling, Chinese banks, small business

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Senate closing in on deal to raise the debt ceiling; Osborne to roll out red carpet for Chinese banks; small business welcomes crackdown on late payments.

Senate leaders were late on Monday closing in on a deal to reopen the federal government and avert a potentially catastrophic default on US borrowings. The deal, which has yet to be finalised, would raise the debt ceiling until early February, reopen the government until January and include a mechanism to force lawmakers into longer-term budget discussions, the Financial Times reports.

George Osborne will on Tuesday roll out the red carpet for Chinese banks looking to expand in London, offering to break down regulatory barriers in a bid to reinforce the City’s position as a global renminbi hub. In a major diplomatic initiative, the chancellor is expected to offer the prospect of special terms to China’s state-owned banks as part of his “personal mission” to make London a significant Chinese offshore banking centre, the Financial Times says.

Small business owners have welcomed a proposed crackdown on late payments, which could see larger firms fined for not paying their bills on time. David Cameron said the UK government is to launch a consultation this year to examine ways of speeding up payments by large companies, after a YouGov survey found 85% of small suppliers had been affected by late bills over the past two years, according to The Scotsman.

Leading British businessmen will brief the Cabinet today on how only 30 cuts to Brussels red tape could save companies billions of pounds a year. Ian Cheshire, the Chief Executive of Kingfisher, and Paul Walsh, the former Chief Executive of Diageo, are among the business leaders presenting recommended changes to European Union regulation in Downing Street today. The event is the first of its kind since David Cameron used his speech to the Conservative Party conference this month to defend big business, The Times says.

The Chancellor has asked one of Britain’s top software developers to join a delegation of UK technology start-ups that are touring China with a view to opening up new “e-trade routes” with the East. Mike Lynch, the founder and former Chief Executive of Autonomy, will lead a group of business people with George Osborne and Ian Livingstone, the former Eidos president who helped to develop Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, according to The Times.

The dollar tumbled last night as Barack Obama postponed crisis talks aimed at securing a deal to raise the United States debt limit and avert a new global financial calamity. The White House said the President and Vice President Joe Biden were due to meet with senior politicians to ‘make clear the need for Congress to act to pay our bills and reopen the government’. The US looks set to hit its $16.7trn (£10.5trn) borrowing limit on Thursday and will default on its debts if Democrats and Republicans fail to agree a deal to raise the ceiling. It is feared a US default will trigger a new financial crisis and tip the global economy back into recession, The Daily Mail explains.

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